PPM Announces 200 MW Big Horn Wind Project
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October 28, 2005
PORTLAND, Ore. – PPM Energy, ScottishPower’s (NYSE: SPI) competitive U.S. energy business, today announced the start of construction of the Big Horn Wind Project near Bickleton, Washington. Big Horn is expected to be commercially operational in summer 2006.
Located in Klickitat County, across the Columbia River and approximately 25 miles from PPM's existing Klondike Wind Power Plant, the Big Horn project is expected to generate 200 megawatts (MW) of electricity. Typically, a 200 MW wind farm can provide clean, renewable electricity to more than 60,000 homes, according to the American Wind Energy Association's calculation.
The Big Horn project will use 133 1.5 MW GE turbines. PPM Energy recently announced the purchase of 500 MW of GE turbines, 300 MW for delivery in 2006 and another 200 MW for delivery in 2007.
PPM is in advanced discussions to sell the output of the Big Horn project to a major load serving entity. This month PPM completed the sale of all output from its 150 MW Shiloh wind project now in construction in Northern California, with purchases by Pacific Gas & Electric Company, Modesto Irrigation District, and the City of Palo Alto. Nationwide, customer demand for wind power is surging as utilities and municipalities add clean renewable power to their supplies. Wind power can serve as a hedge against volatile fossil fuel prices and has proven to be a reliable low cost source of energy.
"PPM owns seven wind projects, with Big Horn being the largest wind project we have developed to date," said Terry Hudgens, PPM Energy's CEO. "We are pleased with the enthusiasm of Klickitat County and the surrounding community for this outstanding project with many local benefits."
The project will support the local economy through royalty payments to about five landowners and property tax payments to Klickitat County. Up to 200 jobs will be created during the peak of construction and approximately 6 to 8 full time employees during operation. While the entire project spans approximately 15,000 acres, the actual footprint of the turbines and associated facilities uses less than one percent (about 70 acres) of the total acreage. Landowners will continue using the remainder of the land for wheat farming and grazing. Approximately 22 miles of newly constructed access roads and nearly seven miles of county roads will be temporarily widened and improved during construction.
"As chairman of the Board of County Commissioners and the Klickitat County Public Economic Development Authority, I congratulate PPM Energy on the completion of the latest phase of their Klondike project in Sherman County and I welcome the announcement of construction on the Big Horn project in Klickitat County," said County Commissioner Don Struck. "Our county recognizes the economic benefits wind power projects bring to our ranchers and we have strongly encouraged wind power development through our energy overlay zone. At the same time, Klickitat County and its residents are proud to be a part of the national effort to increase the use of a non-polluting, renewable energy resource we have in abundance, the wind."
"Finding ways to strengthen the County's ag sector is a major goal of our economic development efforts in Klickitat County and wind power projects are an excellent way to achieve that goal," said Dana Peck, director, Klickitat County Economic Development Department. "PPM Energy has proved itself to be a good neighbor in Sherman County and the Big Horn project is a welcome addition here."
"I am pleased to support the Big Horn project which will provide a vital economic boost to Klickitat County, help meet our state's growing need for electricity, and help reduce our nation's overdependence on fossil fuels," said U.S. Senator Maria Cantwell, D-Wash.
The Big Horn project is situated in an ideal location in an area known for its exceptional wind resource and near existing Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) transmission lines.
Portland, Oregon-based PPM Energy is part of the ScottishPower group of companies. With a portfolio of more than 1,600 MW of wind power under its control in operation or under construction, PPM Energy is well on its way toward its goal of bringing 2,300 MW of new wind power to market by 2010. PPM Energy balances its supply portfolio with sales to wholesale customers, placing almost all of its output in long-term contracts. Major customers include the cities of Seattle, Sacramento, Pasadena, and Anaheim, as well as investor-owned utilities such as Pacific Gas & Electric Company and Xcel Energy and the federal Bonneville Power Administration. PPM Energy also has about 800 megawatts of clean gas resources under its control to give customers a wide range of options for adding environmentally responsible energy to their portfolios. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Energy, and the Center for Resource Solutions honored PPM recently for significantly advancing development of the green power market.